Northington Ferry Trail to Lanier Falls is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lillington, NC that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from January until February. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Lillington, NC: Raven Rock State Park is located in Harnett County, 6 miles west of Lillington and 20 miles east of Sanford. Turn off US 421 and follow Raven Rock Road for 3 miles to the park entrance. Park in the first lot after the entrance. Fish Traps Trail and Northington Ferry are combined with the Raven Rock Loop Trail at the beginning of the trail and Raven Rock Loop will break the the right. Northington Ferry will then break to the left. Trail begins on north side of lot.
This was a good trail but lacks the highlight feature every other trail in Raven rock does. About 1/2 to 3/4 down the trail there is a grave about 30 feet off the trail on the right. This is the trail highlight (and also the inspiration of the trail name as Jesse Northington was buried in the early 1800s there). Very quiet trail and is seldom walked on.
This is an okay trail. I've never encountered another hiker on the trail before so it's earned a four star rating for that fact alone.
Great early spring day for a hike at Raven Rock State Park; we did this last trail of the day to see how it compared to the other trails down to the Cape Fear River. It's a steady descent to the creek and takes you to where Campbell Creek joins the Cape Fear. The Campbell Creek loop trail is across the creek with seemingly no way to get across and the Northington Ferry trail takes you to a muddy beach (very small) with a tree you can sit in overhanging the river (I would watch for snakes here during the summer). If you go alongside Campbell Creek upstream a ways, you come to a couple of logs that cross the stream, one in particular looked like it had quite a bit of crossover from the Campbell Creek trail, something to try at your own risk (we split the hikes into two days), which would make this trail more interesting. There are better trails to choose from, notably Fishtraps.